Are you a Jane Austen fan and have always wanted to date Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, steal Mr. Bingley from Elizabeth’s sister Jane, or just die alone while doing needlepoint? Well, now you can with Matches & Matrimony: A Pride & Prejudice Tale!
Matches & Matrimony is a Jane Austen dating sim developed by Reflexive Entertainment in 2011. There are 6 gentlemen you can pursue and three of Jane Austen’s novels are represented: Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Persuasion. The game starts off as if you are Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice, but depending on your choices, you can branch off into the other book’s stories. You may date not only the main love interest from each of those novels, but a few other characters as well. The game starts with your mother, Mrs. Bennet telling Mr. Bennet how a single rich man has purchased the local estate Netherfield. If you have read Pride and Prejudice, this is like seeing the novel come to life. The dialogue nearly word for word from the book, though mostly condensed and the narrative is now in the first person. You will play as Elizabeth Bennett, the middle sister of the Bennett family, or whatever you would like to name her.
This is a stat raising dating sim, so to pursue the man of your dreams you must plan your week’s activities accordingly. The game gives you a detailed tutorial at the start to help you understand the stats and how it affects future events.You also have an energy bar so make sure to rest once in awhile. The stat raising is not difficult once you get a hang of it, but there are key points in the game where other routes will be closed off to you if you did not raise a certain stat. If there is a certain gentleman you have in mind, you may want to look up what stats those are. Also, you will need to make friends with certain people to gain access to routes i.e. you aren’t going to be invited to visit Elizabeth’s friend Charlotte later in the game if you told her she’s old at the beginning.
At the end of each chapter, you can check on potential suitors affection and as well as friends and allies. Darcy is the only suitor that you can’t see if you increased or decreased affection with him until the very end of each chapter where you can check on everyone’s affection level by clicking on their portraits. The top row portraits in blue are potential suitors and the bottom are potential friends who will help “guide” you to certain gentlemen.
It is easy to offend people and not work on the right skills, so if you’re not careful, you will get the old maid ending, or worse-Mrs. Collins! The game has a built in hint system once you complete an ending to help you reach each guy. There’s also a single and happy ending, but I won’t spoil how to get that ending. I believe there is only one way to do so.
First, we have Mr. Collins. Like it or not, he will propose to you no matter what you do! A hint, on matter what route you want, work on willpower no matter what otherwise you will end up as Mrs. Collins. But that was a nice touch of the game; that everyone needs a certain degree of willpower to get what they want in life. Like not marrying this boring guy.
Mr. Bingley is the “new” option, as Elizabeth certainly never had any designs on him in the book. He is very kind, and as you learn, very shy. His route wasn’t too different from the other suitors that you meet in London.
They made Mr. Darcy the hardest to get onto for a reason: he’s the most popular and most kundere. His route follows the book, with some things dropped. I’ve gotten onto his route before this replay for reviewing, but was not able to get sufficient stats and had to restart at an earlier point. But I enjoyed his route the most, it was long and I love the tense confrontations you have in his route.
I have actually never read Sense and Sensibility, but I saw the movie many years ago. Colonel Brandon is the older suitor, who is also kind of a kuudere. But if you pursue him, you’ll find out that he’s very sweet! He was one of my favorite routes.
Mr. Wickeby is a combination of Mr. Wickham from Pride and Prejudice and Mr. Willoughby from Sense and Sensibility. He is quite the snake in grass but if you are really that insistent on pursuing him, you will follow the Sense and Sensibility plot line. He does not offer too much new content based on my knowledge of the book.
Mr. Wenworth is the suitor from Persuation, and it is also difficult to get onto his route. If any other man likes you, he will refuse to meet you! Not only are your stats important, but how you respond when others ask you your opinions on love will determine if you get to be Mrs. Wenworth.
If you haven’t read any Jane Austen novels, you will feel lost at first at the significance of certain characters and may not appreciate some of the line for line dialogue. But worry not, the game tells you to save often and use the scroll up on your mouse if you need to redo an answer.
A note-this game was designed for Windows 7, and I just replayed this on Windows 10. It was too stretched out on my flat-screen monitor for me to properly play the game, but once I set it in compatibility mode and got it in windowed mode (by initially running it in 640×480 screen resolution), the game ran smoothly.
Overall, I’d recommend this game to any Jane Austen fan, even if you have never played a dating sim before. The game gives tons of explanations on what to do and was actually one of my first dating sims. While it doesn’t offer a lot of new content, what it does offer is fun. It’s great to see the characters come to life and have a hand at Elizabeth’s future. The game is about $7 as an Amazon download, so enter the regency life and get a husband or grow old and grey trying today!